Mas­ter race

The alien oc­cu­pa­tion show from Lost’s Carl­ton Cuse, where col­lab­o­ra­tion means sur­vival

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Amer­ica is oc­cu­pied by an in­vad­ing alien force in Colony.


1 Since the end­ing of Lost, Carl­ton Cuse has firmly em­braced his genre cred­i­bil­ity, de­vel­op­ing and co-showrun­ning a host of dra­mas from The Strain to Bates Mo­tel. For this lat­est se­ries, Colony, Cuse tells Red Alert that the idea came from World War Two. “[Writer] Ryan Con­dal and I are both in­ter­ested in WW2 and we had seen th­ese pic­tures of af­flu­ent Parisians sit­ting in side­walk cafes drink­ing espres­sos while Nazi stormtroop­ers are go­ing by in the streets. We thought is there some way to do that in a mod­ern con­text?”


2 Colony posits a cur­rent re­al­ity where an alien force hov­er­ing in mas­sive ships let hu­man­ity live a semi-nor­mal ex­is­tence. “We came up with Los An­ge­les be­ing oc­cu­pied by this mys­te­ri­ous in­vad­ing force,” Cuse ex­plains. “We tried really hard to sub­vert all the tra­di­tional expectations for an alien in­va­sion show like Fall­ing Skies, where we are lit­er­ally at war with alien beings. That’s not what we wanted the show to be about. We wanted it to be about how re­order­ing so­ci­ety af­fects the in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tion­ships of peo­ple. There’s this in­cred­i­ble propen­sity hu­mans have to sub­ju­gate one an­other when given the op­por­tu­nity and that’s what we want to ex­plore.”


3 Cuse worked with Josh Hol­loway for six years on Lost and ad­mits he wrote Colony with Hol­loway in mind as the lead, Will Bow­man. “I did not have a shadow of a doubt that he would kill in this part,” Cuse en­thuses. “Will is a fam­ily guy with three kids and he’s been sep­a­rated from one of his kids, so his fo­cus is ex­ter­nal. How do I put my fam­ily back to­gether and then how do I keep them safe is his agenda.”


4 To­gether with his wife, Katie, played by The Walk­ing Dead’s Sarah Wayne Cal­lies, Will has to fig­ure out what to do when he’s asked by the alien’s hu­man proxy, Sny­der (Peter Ja­cob­son), to mon­i­tor his peers and re­port back. “It’s about the choices we all make,” Cuse of­fers. “Will and Katie make dis­tinct choices that are sep­a­rate from one an­other be­cause they each be­lieve that the choice they’re making is the best for their fam­ily. It’s in­ter­est­ing to see they can make th­ese di­a­met­ri­cally op­posed choices but be firmly and ir­re­vo­ca­bly con­vinced that they are each do­ing the right thing.”


5 Aside from ships and some tech, Colony doesn’t re­veal much about our new over­lords. Cuse says that’s for a rea­son. “The au­di­ence really only knows as much as the char­ac­ters and the char­ac­ters are try­ing to learn about the world they live in. We didn’t want to have some char­ac­ter give us this big ex­po­si­tional down­load which wasn’t in­ter­est­ing at all. So over the course of the first 10 hours you will learn a fair amount more but there will still be ex­ist­ing mys­ter­ies. The [char­ac­ters] won’t know ev­ery­thing about the world by the end of the first sea­son for sure.”

Colony airs on USA Net­work from 14 Jan­uary. A UK chan­nel is TBC.

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